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October 6, 09

NEWS / El Paso CBP Officers Seize 30 Pounds of Heroin

El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Paso Del Norte downtown bridge crossing in El Paso discovered 29.3 pounds of heroin hidden in a non-factory compartment of a 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser on Saturday. This is the latest heroin seizure made by CBP along the southwest border.

“Smuggling organizations will use every imaginable concealment method to get the narcotics through our international ports of entry,” said William Molaski, CBP El Paso port director. “Anti-terrorism is our primary mission but we are still focused on enforcement of illegal contraband.”

The seizure was made at about 12:05 p.m. when CBP officers were conducting pre-primary enforcement operations. During the operation CBP drug detector dog “Max” alerted officers to the presence of narcotic odors emanating from the PT Cruiser. Officers then escorted both the driver and vehicle to the secondary area for further examination.

An intensive inspection led officers to the discovery of 12 wrapped packages of heroin concealed in a non-factory compartment on the floor under the back seat of the vehicle.

CBP officers arrested the smuggler, who is identified as 51-year-old Jose Barriga Flores, a Mexican national of Chihuahua, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents and booked into the El Paso County Jail where he is being held without bond.

CBP officers and Border Patrol agents have made a series of large heroin seizures recently. Border Patrol agents in Indio, Calif. seized 12 pounds on October 4. CBP officers in Laredo, Texas seized 3 pounds on September 24. Border Patrol agents seized two pounds in Tucson, Ariz. on September 9. CBP officers seized 20 pounds and 12 pounds on August 15 and 29 respectively in Andrade, Calif.

While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.




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